The epidemic of Zika virus has caused a spike in requests for abortion help in countries that ban or restrict abortions, researchers said Wednesday.
Several women whose fetuses have shown evidence of possible Zika-related birth defects have opted for abortions in the U.S. and other western countries where abortion is legal, NBC News reported. But millions of women live in Latin American and Caribbean countries where the mosquitoes carry the virus almost unchecked. Many of the countries also restrict access to birth control.
The researchers found a 36 to 108 percent jump in abortion requests in countries where Zika was spreading, where there were advisories to women and where abortion was legally restricted.
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The study was conducted by researchers from the University of Texas at Austin, who decided to investigate how the epidemic has affected requests for abortions.